Improved Freight Forwarding

Under the European Commission’s IST programme, the EDRUL pilot project investigated and tested an innovative e-logistics platform and services to manage freight distribution in such urban areas. The project partners specifically designed the initiative with historic centres in mind, and four European cities (Siena, Lisbon, Aalborg and Eindhoven) were enrolled in the programme.

EDRUL looked specifically at how to improve the management of freight forwarding for urban areas where vehicular access is restricted. The partners developed a kind of Web agency to provide portal access for booking deliveries and load exchange in such areas.

“If a long-distance freight forwarder had, say, less than 60 per cent of its load destined for an address in the city, they would deliver it instead to a freight hub outside the city centre,” says Marco Boero of Softeco Sismat in Genoa, one of the project partners. “From there, small vans and trucks, often electric or LPG-fuelled vehicles, would deliver to the final destination.”

The online platform was tested as a working pilot in two cities, Siena and Lisbon. The software was also showcased in Aalborg and a feasibility study carried out in Eindhoven. In Siena for example, the project won enthusiastic support from the city parking organisation Siena Parcheggi, as well as the local ‘freight taxi’ company Cotas. The largest Italian national freight forwarder Bartolini was also involved in the project.

EDRUL finished in January 2005, and the results are now being considered by Siena city council for potential incorporation into their next transport plan.

COMPAMED.de; Source: IST Results